The Dutch East India Company

The VOC, or the Dutch East India Company, was the richest private company in the world in the 1600s, and it paid an 18% annual dividend for almost 200 years.

The company deployed 40 warships and an army of 10,000 soldiers to maintain a monopoly on the sale of Asia to Europe, and later

In debt

The company begins to collect debt which their backers, the Dutch government, could not repay.


The company was nationalized.

Charter revoked

VOC charter revoked.

Post of Governor General established

The post of Governor General was established, with a Council of the Indies to oversee him.

Fourth Anglo-Dutch War

The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War consisted of largely successful British attacks on Dutch economic colonial interests. The war ended disastrously for the Dutch. While the Dutch were given Ceylon back, the British were given the right of free trade with part of the Dutch East Indies. After the outbreak of this war, no fleets sailed home and no goods could be sold, plunging the Company into financial collapse. The French invasion and the collapse of the Dutch Republic sealed the company's doom.


The VOC fitted out 1700 ships and carried 317,000 passengers

New capital

Set up a capital in the port city of Jayakarta and changed the city name to Batavia

Lost monopoly

The VOC no longer held the monopoly on the spice trade

Vereingde Oostindische Company chartered

The Dutch government gave a charter to the VOC, which was formed from six small companies operating out of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Zeeland.

English withdrawal from Indonesian trading

The immense profitability of the spice trade led to an intense rivalry between England and the VOC. In 1623, agents of the VOC tortured and executed 20 men accused of treason on Ambon Island. Ten of the men were employees of the British East India Company. After this, the English East India Company withdrew from Indonesia.

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